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Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology


Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology

John A. Burns School of Medicine
651 Ilalo Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 692-1446


*Graduate Faculty

*S. Lozanoff, PhD (Chair)—renal and craniofacial morphogenesis
A. Abdelkarim, DDS—craniofacial development and imaging
*V. B. Alarcon, PhD—mammalian developmental biology
*R. Allsopp, PhD—telomerase biology
*B. Fogelgren, PhD—cell and molecular biology of kidney diseases
J. Higa, PhD—physiology
S. Labrash, CFSP—plastination, willed body program, continuing education
*Y. Marikawa, PhD—mammalian embryogenesis, cell differentiation, and body pattern formation
*T. Matsui, MD, PhD—cardiovascular research
*D. Merritt, PhD—aging and exercise physiology
*S. Moisyadi, PhD—mammalian transgenesis
*J. Urschitz, PhD—gene therapy, obesity, pregnancy
*M. Ward, PhD—sperm physiology and genetics, assisted reproduction technology
*W. S. Ward, PhD—DNA structure, embryogenesis, and sperm biology
*Y. Yamazaki, DVM, PhD—oocyte development, primordial germ cell biology

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

O. LeSaux, PhD—cell and molecular biology, genetics and development pathology
M. Yoshizawa, PhD—evolutionary developmental biology, neurobiology and behavioral adaptation

Adjunct/Clinical Faculty

H. Davis, PhD
K. S. K. Fong, PhD
R. Mann, PhD
G. M. Mawe, PhD
T. Nomura, MD, PhD
K. Nonaka, DDS, PhD
Y. Oba, PhD
C. Stickley, PhD
S. Tunali, PhD, MD
C. F. T. Uyehara, PhD
J. Wu, PhD
S. Yang, MD

Degree Offered: MS in developmental and reproductive biology, PhD in developmental and reproductive biology

The Academic Program

The Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Physiology supports the interdisciplinary nature of modern biomedical research and exposes undergraduate medical and graduate students to the type of academic research environment they will encounter in their professional career. The department was formed in acknowledgement of the MD program’s ongoing need for discipline-based expertise in the areas of anatomy, physiology, and reproductive biology, which provides a broad base of knowledge in biological structure and function from the molecular level to the body as a whole, as well as biochemistry, which involves the study of the chemistry and physics of living systems and is fundamental to the understanding of many of the disciplines of medical, biological, and agricultural sciences.

The department offers upper- and lower-level courses in biochemistry and physiology as preparatory course work for prospective medical students as well as 500-level electives in human anatomy and physiology for medical students that supplement knowledge gained in the tutorials. The training of medical students and post-graduate training of physicians would not be possible without the department’s Willed Body Program.

Students seeking health-related careers in areas such as dentistry, medicine, nursing, nutrition, physical therapy, public health, and kinesiology need many of the department’s physiology courses. Formal programs of study leading to MS and PhD degrees in developmental and reproductive biology are also offered. These students may elect to conduct research at the molecular or cellular level, on organs or on the whole animal, qualified graduate students have the opportunity to work with faculty from other JABSOM departments and programs within the university system as well.

The MS (Plan A) program in developmental and reproductive biology requires a combination of course work and original research, the latter forming the basis of the student’s thesis. The MS (Plan B) degree serves as training for teaching positions at the high school, community college, or four-year college level. It may also be a prelude to a medical or dental education. Candidates for the MS Plan B degree are required to prepare a written paper and give an oral presentation as well as fulfilling course requirements (total of 30 credits).

The PhD degree in developmental and reproductive biology prepares students for teaching careers in universities, community colleges, and high schools, as well as for research careers at universities, hospitals, government laboratories, and large pharmaceutical companies. Candidates must take a written qualifying examination, an oral comprehensive examination, and submit an acceptable outline of their proposed dissertation research. They must also submit and defend their dissertation. PhD graduates usually obtain postdoctoral positions elsewhere as further preparation for a career in teaching and research at the university level.

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation together with GRE scores. All applicants are expected to have adequate backgrounds in biology, chemistry, mathematics, molecular biology, and physics. The course requirements for admitted students vary with their degree and specialization, but all candidates for the MS and PhD degrees must take a written qualifying examination.

The department’s developmental and reproductive biology faculty are world-renowned for their research in the areas of fertilization, reproductive endocrinology, and developmental biology. Department faculty established the Institute for Biogenesis Research and pioneered the successful “Honolulu Technique” cloning technology, which provides scientists with a new and valuable tool for researching the molecular processes involved in embryo formation, cell differentiation, aging, and disease. Department faculty also have appointments in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center and the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center.

ANAT Courses

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